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Our Master Data Readiness Assessment (MDRA) is an assessment of your organisation’s readiness to implement formal MDM.

When to perform a master data readiness assessment

Master Data Readiness Assessment

Performing a master data readiness assessment is an important step in preparing for a successful master data management initiative. It will help you to identify potential challenges and risks that may impact the effectiveness of your MDM strategy.

Ideally, a master data readiness assessment should be conducted prior to choosing and implementing any master data management solution

This will allow you to understand your existing data landscape, assess the quality and completeness of their data, and identify any gaps or inconsistencies that need to be addressed.

However, it's also important to note that a master data readiness assessment can be performed at any stage of a master data management initiative. For example, if you are experiencing issues with your master data management strategy, conducting a readiness assessment can help you identify the root cause of the problem and develop a plan to address it.

In summary, a master data readiness assessment should be performed before the implementation of a master data management solution, but it can also be conducted at any stage of a master data management initiative to identify and address potential issues.

Are you thinking about master data management?

 Master data management(MDM) is a critical aspect of any organization's data management strategy.

It involves defining and maintaining a central repository of high-quality data that can be shared across different business functions and systems. With the increasing importance of data-driven decision-making, it's no surprise that MDM has become a key priority for many businesses

However, achieving successful master data management requires a thorough understanding of an organization's data landscape, including the quality, completeness, and consistency of data across different sources. This is where a master data readiness assessment comes in.

We will explore the importance of master data management and how and why we conduct a master data readiness assessment.

So, if you are thinking about implementing a master data management strategy, read on to learn more.

What is a Master Data Readiness Assessment?

At its simplest, a Master Data Readiness Assessment (MDRA) is exactly that: an assessment of an organisation’s readiness to implement formal master data management.

When considering how best to manage their master data, many companies turn immediately to application selection, without interrogating what they want to achieve by implementing master data management, nor fully understanding the landscape in which their master data resides – the types of data they have, the systems that store it, the people who are responsible for managing and maintaining it, the people and processes that use it, or whether it is of the required quality to be of any use at all. Unsurprisingly, the selected application seldom delivers on the value it promised, because the organisation hadn’t ensured its master data was well understood, and the steps necessary to ensure the master data would meet requirements weren’t undertaken prior to migration into the new application.

A MDRA examines the organisation’s master data landscape in the context of the reasons for wanting to implement master data management in the first place, and the strategic goals behind those. It is a tool that can be invaluable in determining whether the necessary master data fundamentals are in place prior to a strategic or business-critical initiative that relies on quality master data for its success, or simply for business-as-usual requirements. The assessment evaluates different dimensions of master data management practices across each master data domain in order to determine whether the data meets requirements.

Set Business Goals

At Master Data Management, we understand that a business-first approach is critical for successful master data implementations. We understand that quality master data is business-critical, but what this means and how this is accomplished can vary.

At its simplest, this means that your master data priorities should be aligned with your business goals and objectives.

Without this focus, it is easy to get overwhelmed.

Your business priorities will ensure a clear line of sight to business goals. 

This will, in turn, set the focus on the most critical data domains, systems and processes, and deliver specific value more quickly. 

Once you have a clear list of Master Data Management goals, you can begin with an assessment of each domain.

We cover the following during a Master Data Readiness Assessment:

  1. Data Discovery: The goal is to identify all possible sources for master data, along with a high level assessment of accessibility

  2. Data Quality Assessment: We leverage automated data profiling to assess master data for completeness, consistency and duplication, amongst other factors. It is important to understand what attributes are shared between systems, and levels of quality, in order to plan for the consolidation and matching of related records.. It is also important to assess the degree to which data standards are defined and agreed.

  3. Data governance: We need to identify key stakeholders and decision-making processes for each master data domain in scope.

  4. Data Architecture: We need to assess the systems, data management capabilities and gaps, and so on to plan for delivery.

MDRA Deliverables

A comprehensive MDRA covers several key areas to provide an accurate reflection of your current data landscape, and the areas that will need to be addressed in order to implement master data managemen to support business goals.

The results of the assessment, together with findings, conclusions and recommendations are documented as a series of deliverables, which typically include:

Current state analysis: This summarises the findings of the assessment, including an overview of the current state of the organisation's data management practices and a list of recommendations to improve master data readiness. It includes a high-level analysis of the organisation's existing data governance practices, data architecture, data quality, and data management processes as described below:

  • Data Governance Assessment: This evaluates the organisation's data governance structures and practices, identifying any gaps or weaknesses that could have an impact on a master data management implementation.
  • LDIS+:  the LDIS+ Analytics Impact Framework is a systematic evaluation of your company’s data culture and engagement. 
  • Data Quality Assessment: This assessment evaluates the quality of the organisation's data in relation to documented, de facto, or identified rules and standards; it highlights issues or discrepancies that could affect the success of a master data management implementation.
  • Data Management Gap Analysis: This identifies gaps between the current state and the desired state of master data management. The gap analysis helps in identifying areas that need improvement and the actions required to bridge the gap.
  • Data Architecture Assessment: What systems and data management tools exist and can be reused in an implementation?

Implementation roadmap: Based on the findings of the assessment, a roadmap for implementation is created, outlining the steps necessary to address the gaps and challenges identified in the assessment, and implement the MDM program successfully. The roadmap helps in planning the implementation process and in identifying the resources required for implementation.

Overall, the deliverables of a master data readiness assessment provide a clear understanding of the organisation's readiness to implement master data management and a roadmap for addressing any issues that may arise.

MDRA Benefits

Master data management implementation programmes are frequently complex and protracted affairs. They are seldom as simple as migrating the organisation’s master data from an existing system to a specialist application.

The MDRA identifies potential risks and roadblocks that might derail your master data management implementation, such as:

  •  technology or infrastructure limitations,
  • inadequate data governance processes,
  • or poor data quality.

Identifying these in advance will allow you to implement effective mitigation strategies to overcome such obstacles, and to incorporate the necessary time and resources into your MDM planning. It also provides you with the necessary information to assess whether MDM is the right response to the problem at the current time, or whether a narrower scope, such as data quality or customer data platforms, would be more appropriate.

The scope and breadth of MDM implementation can be overwhelming, particularly in a multi-domain context.

The MDRA helps to understand and prioritise the requirements of the different domains within the context of business goals. Understanding organisational priorities in advance ensures that the implementation plan is appropriately phased and prioritised for maximum impact.

Additionally, understanding the breadth of requirements in advance allows for early identification of key stakeholders whose buy-in is necessary for success. Stakeholders who understand the importance and benefits of master data management are more likely to support and assist the project, rather than sabotage it.

A key element of MDM success is the availability of resources necessary for implementation.

In addition to technical resources, the organisational knowledge and domain IP of subject matter experts within the organisation should not be overlooked.


Who should be involved in a MDRA?

 A Master Data Readiness Assessment typically involves stakeholders from across the organization, including business process owners, data stewards, IT staff, and executive sponsors. The specific stakeholders will depend on the scope of the assessment and the business processes or initiatives it is intended to support.

Who should be involved in a MDRA?

 A Master Data Readiness Assessment typically involves stakeholders from across the organization, including business process owners, data stewards, IT staff, and executive sponsors. The specific stakeholders will depend on the scope of the assessment and the business processes or initiatives it is intended to support.

What tools can assist with an MDRA?

There are several tools that can assist with an MDRA, including:

  • Data discovery tools to map systems and find and expose master data fields
  • Data Profiling tools to assess data quality

Isn't an MDRA a waste of time

No, a Master Data Readiness Assessment (MDRA) is not a waste of time. 

Master Data Management programs can be complex, and, without proper planning can easily become overwhelming.

“If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail”

Benjamin Franklin

The MDRA ensures clear line of sight to business outcomes and identifies key risk and challenges that must be overcome during any implementation. Overall the MDRA is a valuable input into both the technical delivery plan, and the change and communication plan.

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